Dr. Michelle Gourdine

Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine is a physician, author and speaker and expert in preventive health and wellness, with a special emphasis on African American health. Throughout her medical career of nearly 20 years, Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine has felt compelled to not simply treat disease, but keep people from getting sick in the first place. “I noticed that people of color and poor people always seemed to get sicker and die younger, and I grew weary of seeing people who look like me suffering the most from the consequences of poor health.” So she devoted her career to empowering individuals to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives by making better health choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Dr. Gourdine is a board-certified Pediatrician who graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to her appointment as Maryland’s Deputy Secretary of Health and Chief Public Health Physician, Dr. Gourdine served as Health Officer and Director of the Baltimore County Health Department for a decade. In her governmental public health career, she has supervised up to 6000 staff and has overseen budgets of more than $1 billion.

Dr. Gourdine is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and a Senior Associate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine wrote her new book, Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Wellness (Yale University Press, April 2011), to help African Americans reduce their disproportionate burden of obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, and other leading causes of death. “The level of disease in our community is personal to me. It affects my family, my friends, and myself. My book is unlike others on the market because it addresses the social and cultural reasons for our diet, our exercise (or lack thereof) and our body image, and provides plain-spoken practical steps and motivation for readers to take charge of their health.”

Dr. Gourdine has received numerous awards and honors, including the Public Health Service award from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Baltimore County Woman of the Year. She was also named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.

Dr. Gourdine believes in the importance of physical and emotional well-being, and living with joy and peace despite life’s challenges. Her practical advice has won her the trust of audiences nationwide and garnered numerous speaking requests from organizations including the National Urban League, the American Diabetes Association, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the Black Entertainment Television Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, Howard University, 100 Black Men of America, and the National Association of Health Services Executives. Dr. Gourdine is a regular contributor to Channel Magazine, Baltimore’s premier multiethnic source. She will be a featured speaker at the National Association of Black Journalists conference and the Heart and Soul Magazine’s women’s conference. Her advice has been most recently highlighted in the April issue of Essence Magazine.

Dr. Gourdine is married and is the mother of three children.